Our weekly roundup of industry highlights
Fidelity Investments CEO confronts sexual harassment claims
Fidelity Investments CEO Abby Johnson has condemned workplace harrassment following the dismissal of two portfolio managers amid allegations, Bloomberg reports.
In a video to the firm's 40,000 employees, Johnson said no kind of harassment will be acceptable.
"We have no tolerance at our company for any type of harassment," Johnson said. "We simply will not, and do not, tolerate this type of behavior, from anyone."
She spoke after Fidelity recently dismissed two portfolio managers due to inappropriate behavior, according to Bloomberg.
Edward Jones hits AUM milestone
Edward Jones said it topped $1 trillion in AUM as the firm continues its organic growth efforts.
"This milestone reflects the growth of our firm as we serve new clients, as well as our ability to deeply understand our clients' comprehensive financial needs and help them meet multiple goals," said Edward Jones Managing Partner Jim Weddle.
The broker saw a 9.9% jump in AUM to $1.06 trillion since the beginning of the year, and net new assets grew by $30.9 billion through August.
Edward Jones said it's looking to hit $47.1 billion in 2017.
Global macro strategies lead hedge fund managers' product plans
Institutional investors showed interest in global macro products in 2016, according to new research.
Twenty-eight percent of asset managers received several requests for these strategies and another one-third received at least a few requests, according to Cerulli Associates.
"While the pace of hedge fund new product development is expected to be low during 2017, some managers polled have a pipeline of products currently in development or under consideration," said Michele Giuditta, associate director at Cerulli. "Global macro strategies lead product development plans with 19% of managers currently developing a product and another 23% considering it."
A majority of managers polled by Cerulli said that their funds are designed to provide diversification and volatility mitigation.
Virtus and Wellington launch ETF
Virtus ETF Solutions announced earlier this month that it has teamed with Wellington Management to launch the Virtus WMC Global Factor Opportunities ETF (VGFO).
The relationship will allow Virtus to leverage Wellington's proprietary and independent research in global equities. The fund, which has an expense ratio of 0.49%, will trade on the NYSE Arca.
MassMutual Ventures announces second $100M fund
MassMutual Ventures has launched a second $100 million fund as it looks to continue to build on its strategy of investing in early and growth-stage companies in the insurance, benefits, financial services, enterprise software and cyber security sectors.
The funding, from its parent company Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, doubles the firm's total capital under management to $200 million, MassMutual said.
The funding also gives the firm the ability to back an additional 20 to 25 companies in North America, Europe and Israel.
Sanford C. Bernstein launches 2 ETFs
Sanford C. Bernstein has launched a pair of ETFs, just about a year after claiming that the rise of passive asset management would be worse for society than Marxism, according to Bloomberg.
The Bernstein U.S. Research Fund (BERN) and the Bernstein Global Research Fund (BRGL) have expense ratios of 0.50% and 0.65%, respectively.
Their aim, according to Bloomberg, is to track the firm's U.S. and global research indexes, while also owning stocks that are rated "outperform" by Bernstein's analysts.
Capital Impact Partners' effort to help underserved communities
Nonprofit corporation Capital Impact Partners launched an offering of up to $100 million of AA rated fixed-income Capital Impact Investment notes that will allow investors the opportunity to invest in its efforts to aid underserved communities.
"Through Capital Impact Investment Notes, we are creating the opportunity to drive financial activism by creating a product that helps investors create positive social change for people in communities across this country while also earning a return on that investment," said Ellis Carr, president and CEO of Capital Impact Partners.
The notes are available for as low as $1,000 with available fixed interest rates with maturities that range from one to 10 years.
Krane Funds launches emerging markets consumer tech ETF
Krane Funds Advisors is expanding its internet suite with the launch of the KraneShares Emerging Markets Consumer Technology ETF (KEMQ), which holds companies focused on internet software services, payment processing and e-commerce.
The ETF, which has an expense ratio of 0.79%, will trade on the NYSE.
KEMQ holds companies including Brazilian electronic payment processor Cielo, Argentina-based e-Commerce platform MercadoLibre, South Korea's social media giant Naver, Russian web portal Mail.ru and Chinese internet leaders Alibaba and Tencent.
Cohen & Steers brings on new VP for wealth management team
Cohen & Steers has brought on Christopher Gasta, formerly of PNC Capital Advisors, as vice president of the firm's wealth management unit.
Gasta joined the unit's defined-contribution investment-only marketplace team, which was created about 18 months ago to improve the firm's position in the $7 trillion defined-contribution market, according to the firm.
Here, the firm provides investment management services to qualified retirement plans.
"While plan sponsors continue to simplify their investment menu choices, there is a clear need for improved real asset diversification within target-date funds and other DC line-up choices," said David Edlin, executive vice president and director of wealth management consulting. "With their history of attractive returns, low correlations with other asset classes and positive inflation sensitivity, listed real assets may increase the likelihood of investors achieving their retirement income goals."
While with PNC, Gasta served as the Southeast Regional DCIO Director and was responsible for developing relationships with top retirement plan advisors.
Brown Capital adds to international equity team
Brown Capital Management announced that Kabir Goyal, a former manager from Wasatch Advisors, joined the firm as director and portfolio manager and senior analyst on the firm's international equity team.
Kabir, the former associate portfolio manager for Wasatch's International Growth Fund (WAIGX), will join Brown Capital's existing international team members, Maurice Haywood and Duncan Evered, the firm said.
"We have been managing international strategies for nearly two decades, and Kabir is an outstanding addition to our firm," said Brown Capital CEO Eddie Brown. "We believe that, as a team, Maurice, Duncan, and Kabir are well positioned to grow and build upon our existing international investment capabilities for years to come."
Kabir has previous experience as an equity analyst at Putnam Investments in Boston, where he focused on international industrials and materials, according to the firm.